Let’s face it: you could probably use an injection of inspiration in your life right now. Day jobs have a habit of turning our lives into inflexible routines, and it takes a conscious effort to break out and enjoy other pursuits – writing, painting, photographing, running, reading, or whatever else you're into.
The simple remedy is to take a trip; you get out of your daily grind, get to experience a new locale, and come back feeling refreshed. But that's easier said than done because quite frankly, we can’t all decide to spontaneously make a weekend jaunt to Paris.
There is, though, another way to achieve that daily grind re-calibration, and we call it the Hometown Tour. The difference between it and any other weekend at home is your intention: you can take a few days to explore new neighborhoods, find new favorite parts of your city, and do all those things you say that you always say you'll eventually get around to doing – and you can do it without buying a plane ticket or tipping a porter. Because sometimes the most revitalizing trip is the one you take around the block.
Block Off a Weekend
This is two days (at least) free of working, cleaning, cooking, or other parts of your standard duties. We know you need to draft that work presentation and fix that crack in the drywall, but this is about making time for your more indulgent side.
Take a full weekend and allow your brain to decompress. Make a list of a few activities that actually relax you and fuel your creativity – those are what you'll fill your time with.
Read a Newspaper at a Breakfast Spot
Believe it or not, they still print newspapers. Pick up a local one and head to a good breakfast spot – a cozy neighborhood café, a cool brunch spot, whatever. If you’re like us, it’s probably a diner with paper placemats and bottomless coffee.
Read. Laugh at the comics that you found funny when you were a kid, find out what’s happening in your neighborhood, and don’t be in a hurry. Have a few cups of coffee and order that extra bacon. You’re on vacation.
We know you’ve walked these streets a hundred times, but when was the last time you actually looked at what’s on them? You don’t need to fly to Sweden to take in sights worth remembering.
Grab your camera, take a stroll, and snap a few shots along the way of whatever catches your eye.
Find a New Restaurant
Take yourself out. Eat, drink, actually taste your food and enjoy the energy of the restaurant. If you’re impressed, give your compliments to the chef: he or she lives here, too.
Your hometown is only as small as you make it. Get in the car and drive. Get lost. Drive the streets you’ve never driven, and if you live in the suburbs, cruise the city streets for a while. Listen to the sounds and feel the energy. The smells, the people, the buildings, the beat and the rhythm.
Meet Someone New
When we go on a trip abroad, we always meet new people. Maybe it’s the lack of inhibition brought about by knowing you probably won’t see them after the week is through, but why not channel the same friendliness and meet someone in your hometown?
Ask someone at a coffee shop what they’re reading. Ask someone on the trail where they got their bike. Connect with another human. Who knows, you might even make a friend.
Put Your Damn Phone Down
We know the daily minutiae get monotonous, and that it helps to escape to a different city – to leave your woes behind and clear your head. But you don’t have to empty your wallet for airfare and hotel stays every few weeks when your hometown can deliver the awakening you need. Take a tour and you’ll see why it’s worth visiting.